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Comments on feature proposals /
Changes to the Feedback


Kristina Hoeppner's profile picture
Posts: 3772

04 September 2009, 10:20 AM

Hello,

The feedback (on views) has already been discussed very briefly elsewhere without further steps taken. We (the BScE at the University of Luxembourg) would like to extend the feedback and also be involved in the funding of the development.

Currently, unwanted feedback can be made private, but it cannot be deleted. Deleting feedback is not so simple because sometimes a feedback should not be deleted, e.g. tutor feedback on an assignment etc. Therefore, it is not so trivial.

Here is what we have gathered / discussed so far with Nigel. We would love to have your input to develop the ideas further.

Feedback editor (The hopefully easier things first. Wink )

We would like to have a regular WYSIWYG editor for the feedback because none of our tutors are accustomed to BBCode. When there is a WYSIWYG editor available, why not use it for the feedback as well?

The discussion of enabling / disabling the WYSIWYG editor (for regular text boxes) was started by Peer and the endpoint was that the admin should have the right to say which editor should be enabled: plain text, BBCode or WYSIWYG. Furthermore, the admin decides where on Mahara people can use which editor (cf. feature tracker item).


Feedback options

The learner should be able to decide whether he wants to receive feedback on a public view or not (I can't find where I could change that setting, but think that it was the admin, but I may very well be wrong).

In the following I take Meredith Henson's feedback post as starting points for my thoughts on the topic and then continue with ideas that Nigel had also put forth.

"ePortfolio owners should be able to edit any feedback they attach to one of their views"
That makes good sense. I don't like it when I have to write a new comment just to correct a bad typo etc. I would add "and feedback they post to other people's views". Both under the condition that "updated on ..." is displayed.

Worst case scenario: Students get feedback -> replies to it -> tutor is still not happy -> student edits his reply so that it does not fit the tutor's second feedback -> feedback does not make sense anymore. Would then a possibility actually be to allow the editing of feedback only if no later feedback has been posted, i.e. when the feedback that the person who wrote it is the last one?


"be able to remove other user's feedback (provided it isn't from a tutor or Site Administrator)"
That would mean that students can delete peer feedback. I'm not so sure that this would be a good idea, especially in cases when peer feedback is encouraged / wanted. Then that feedback is actually more on the tutor level and should not be deleted.


"Site Admin should be able to remove feedback placed on any view by any user."
That makes sense for the test messages or if feedback really needs to be deleted. However, the author of the feedback should be contacted for transparency reasons and also because, technically, he owns that text.


Nigel summarizes everything and extends it

  • Admins can delete any feedback on any view, or make it private to the view owner/feedback poster only (this will mean, if they don't own the view or feedback, that they'll be unable to see it any more).
  • The view owner can make any feedback private and can delete their own feedback (regardless of whether it's been replied to).
    Comment Kristina: I would not allow feedback owners to delete their feedback if it was already replied to because then what happens to the reply? It may not even make any sense anymore.
  • The view owner can make any private feedback public again.
    Comment Kristina: He should communicate that to the feedback owner. There may have been a compelling reason for not posting feedback publicly for the feedback writer.
  • The feedback author (if they're not the view owner) can delete and edit their feedback if there are no replies to it.
  • The feedback author (if they're not the view owner) can make their own feedback private at any time (they can't make it public, to defer to the view owner's opinion).
    Comment Kristina: Making a previously public feedback private may be problematic for feedback that follows, e.g. if the feedback author is the view owner and comments on a tutor's feedback, the tutor comments on that. The tutor's second comment would be somewhat contextless if the comment of the feedback author was made private. That is, in my opinion, similar to the deleting feedback.

 

Have a nice weekend

Kristina
anonymous profile picture
Deleted user
Posts: 1643

07 September 2009, 7:31 AM

I guess the deleting feedback/hiding it should work the same for the people who don't own the view (i.e. can't change it after a reply has been made).

Although, I see no reason to restrict a view owner from deleting/hiding their own feedback. It's their View, taking control away from them is, in my opinion, far more annoying than letting them manage their own content. If someone is constantly posting feedback and removing it, the other users will probably become wary of this behaviour soon enough! Smile I guess I feel that the number of legitimate uses for deleting my own feedback on my own views outweighs those contextual issues it might cause. It's my portfolio, I want to be in control! Wink 

Kristina Hoeppner's profile picture
Posts: 3772

07 September 2009, 7:07 PM

Hi Nigel,

I don't have experience with giving students electronic feedback on their portfolios as we have only started using Mahara switching from a file management system where feedback was not really possible unless the tutor uploaded a separate file.

I see the feedback more as a discussion (if the view owner responds and the tutor maybe posts a reply). Thus, even for the view owner to go back to the feedback and not seeing a response because he deleted it, may not give him the entire picture.

Of course, he can always change his view and the feedback attached to a page may not be correct. You arethinking about how to remedy that with view revision histories.

Maybe I'm making too big a deal out of that entirely and virtually nobody would delete a comment made in the middle of a discussion and we won't have to worry about it at all. Wink

Kristina

anonymous profile picture
Deleted user
Posts: 1643

09 September 2009, 7:50 PM

It is a discussion yes, but it's a discussion about something that belongs to someone, which IMHO makes it different to, say, a forum discussion.

In a forum, people should speak without modification really - we give a 30 minute lead time for spelling mistakes and such, though we should possibly lock that down to the earliest of 30 minutes, or the first reply.

But in this case I think it's a little different. Perhaps the owner shouldn't be able to hide tutor/admin feedback, but the feedback of other students is a bit different. You can expect tutors and admins to give reasonable feedback, but some students might come along just to be annoying/bully the user, and not giving the owner the power to somehow stop this seems a bit unfair.

Kristina Hoeppner's profile picture
Posts: 3772

11 September 2009, 4:00 AM

Hello Nigel,

I certainly see your point about bully messages. For that I would say the admin should have the right to remove such feedback with a message to the feedback owner that his comment was deleted.

The comments a feedback writer makes belong to him though it cannot always be argued that he has a copyright on them if they do not go beyond a certain level of creativity / uniqueness.Thus, just deleting the comment would not be right.

As I pointed out earlier, sometimes peer feedback can serve the function of tutor feedback and should not be deleted.

However, if the general opinion is that feedback can be deleted also in between, I suggest to display a brief message like "Feedback from ... was deleted." so thatif another comment references to that feedback is still somewhat comprehensible.

Kristina

anonymous profile picture
Deleted user
Posts: 1643

13 September 2009, 11:03 PM

The problem with making so the admin can do it, then you put too much burden on the admins to go around and police content. That's not what you want admins to be doing - while they should be able to, they shouldn't be forced to. On a large site, you might have hundreds or thousands of views being created every day, with much feedback. Imagine if the facebook admins had to go around moderating people's walls for them!

I think we are sliding towards needing a configuration setting Wink 

anonymous profile picture
Deleted user
Posts: 338

14 September 2009, 6:19 AM

Hello Nigel,

Although I don't particularly agree with this "watchdog function" (I think that education and electronic portfolios should be based on trust), the reality is that institutions-even universities- are worried about supervising the "suitability" of contents. Legislation about this can vary in each country, though.

From my experience, Mahara sites are no huge at the moment- not at least in the UK-, so in short term, what I am advising to do is to create several local administrators for institution who will supervise students contents.

In long term, we can transfer that function to  users with the role of "staff". As this role is too generic, we can create the role of "academic tutor" . Each academic tutor would be responsible for a controlled membership group, and within that group of students, the academic tutor coul supervise/edit/or delete any feedback or views contents considered inapropiate.

As we can create as many controlled membership groups as needed and we can make all the relevant lecturers academic tutors, if we implement this option, each academic tutor would only have to "watch"  his/her students contents.

Would this solution be more feasible?

 Regards

anonymous profile picture
Deleted user
Posts: 1643

14 September 2009, 5:01 PM

Hi - it would suit the use case you have, where you have a lot of controlled communities. Yet, it won't cover user's personal views, and wouldn't be that suitable for someone who was using Mahara more for the social networking (where they have very few controlled groups, and lots of users "running wild").

Perhaps I can propose a refinement of my idea:

View owners can mark feedback that isn't by a tutor, institutional admin or site admin, as hidden. If they do this, when the feedback is shown, the feed will show in the correct place, "Feedback from user X was hidden". If the view owner is looking at it, they will see: "You hid feedback from user X. Unhide". Perhaps with a hover that shows the first few words of the feedback so they know what it's about.

If feedback is hidden or unhidden, a notification is sent to the author of the feedback. 

That way:

  • View owners can hide feedback that is offensive (and yes, that they don't like to see even if it's honest - but that's their choice). But they can never do this to admin/tutor feedback.
  • The feedback is never actually deleted, and can be unhidden again if the view owner has a change of heart, or is convinced to unhide it.
  • The feedback author knows when someone hides their feedback
 
If that isn't quite going to cut it for educational use, then we can add a configuration setting: "allow users to hide feedback from their peers", that would simply disable the hiding feature.
 
Users would never be able to delete feedback completely - unless they were institution or site admins.
 
Institution/site admins should probably be able to hide feedback too - though if that's the case, I guess you have to ask who can unhide it - only the admin, or the view owner as well if they choose? (the latter is easier to implement, but might not be desirable).
 
Maybe tutors could hide feedback too - same question from the above paragraph applies for them too. 

 

anonymous profile picture
Deleted user
Posts: 808

21 September 2009, 10:50 PM

I've just had a good read through this, and have a few comments on how I think it should work:

Feedback editor

I agree it would be good if the admin could decide whether to use wysiwyg, BBCode, or normal textareas.  But we would have to decide on something sensible to do with existing content whenever that setting got changed.  Changing between text and html shouldn't be a problem, but it looks like the BBCode currently gets converted to html during output, and the original BBCode is stored in the database.

Existing sites will have a lot of BBCode-formatted text in view feedback, and if the admin setting changed from BBCode to text or wysiwyg, I think we might need to convert all the existing feedback to html to avoid BBCode commands being displayed in old feedback.  The easiest approach would be to remove the BBCode option altogether and do a one-time conversion to html.  Is anyone going to be upset if they can no longer use BBCode at all?

Deleted/edited feedback and context

As Kristina pointed out, we cannot currently stop a view owner from
changing their view after feedback has been posted, and so the
feedback will sometimes refer to things that don't appear in the view
any more.

We don't generally have this problem with the forums because we can
stop the top post from being edited.  The freezing of views at
revisions is difficult, and I think unlikely to be implemented soon.
And even if we do get this feature I'm not sure that we would want to
force a new chain of feedback to start on every revision.

So with views we are always going to be stuck with contextual problems anyway, and I think we should just try to minimise confusion with "this comment was deleted by ..." messages, because the alternative is too great a burden on the site admins.

Private feedback

Private feedback should be invisible to anyone except its author and the view owner.  This is the current situation.

If we have the ability for feedback to be deleted/hidden by the view owner, there is no need for view owners to be able to make other users' feedback private.  They can hide it instead.

Therefore I think only the feedback author should be allowed to make feedback private, and they should only be able do this when placing the feedback, or if there have been no replies and less than n minutes have passed since it was first posted.  We can't really allow authors to make feedback private after this time, because that would provide a way for feedback to disappear without a trace; if there replies then we must display a feedback removed message to avoid contextual confusion.

We might want to allow private feedback to be changed to public, but it should require the consent of both the view owner and the feedback author.

Editing/deleting feedback

I agree with Nigel and think feedback should be editable, and able to be deleted, or made private by its author when there have been no replies to it and less than n minutes have passed since it was posted.

The view owner can delete any feedback on their view.  Users looking at the list of feedback will see a message: "Feedback removed by the view owner".  A notification will be sent to the feedback author to inform them that their comment was deleted.

Admins are allowed to delete feedback at any time, though a message will appear saying something like "Feedback removed by the site administrator".

Feedback by tutors and admins

Feedback from tutors and admins will usually be private.  The view owner should never be allowed to hide private feedback from a tutor.

However personally I think that view owners should always be allowed to hide public feedback on their views, even if that feedback comes from an admin or tutor.  The "feedback removed by view owner" message would appear.

Disabling feedback

I also think view owners should be able to disable feedback entirely on their unsubmitted views, and should also be able to close a view to new feedback even if there is already some feedback on it.

Kristina Hoeppner's profile picture
Posts: 3772

01 October 2009, 5:27 AM

Hello Nigel and Richard,

I am sorry about the long delay in getting back to you on the feedback topic.

"Is anyone going to be upset if they can no longer use BBCode at all?" Certainly not me / our installation as I was the one who wanted to have the regular editor. Wink

"So with views we are always going to be stuck with contextual problems anyway, and I think we should just try to minimise confusion with "this comment was deleted by ..." messages, because the alternative is too great a burden on the site admins."

True and I like the line "This comment was deleted...".

"Therefore I think only the feedback author should be allowed to make feedback private, and they should only be able do this when placing the feedback, or if there have been no replies and less than n minutes have passed since it was first posted."

Why not the view owner anymore as it is the current practice?

"We might want to allow private feedback to be changed to public, but it should require the consent of both the view owner and the feedback author."

Yes. Being able to change private to public would be nice. It may not occur often, but you never know.

"I agree with Nigel and think feedback should be editable, and able to be deleted, or made private by its author when there have been no replies to it and less than n minutes have passed since it was posted."

No objections to that. Smile

"The view owner can delete any feedback on their view.  Users looking at the list of feedback will see a message: "Feedback removed by the view owner".  A notification will be sent to the feedback author to inform them that their comment was deleted."

That notification should include the feedback comment in my opinion to refresh the mind of the feedback owner. If he places a lot of feedback he may not know anymore what he had written.

"Admins are allowed to delete feedback at any time, though a message will appear saying something like "Feedback removed by the site administrator"."

And the feedback owner should be informed (see above).

"Feedback from tutors and admins will usually be private."

I would leave the option in to have it public as well.

"The view owner should never be allowed to hide private feedback from a tutor."

Or do you mean "public" feedback? I think public makes more sense in the sentence.

"I also think view owners should be able to disable feedback entirely on their unsubmitted views, and should also be able to close a view to new feedback even if there is already some feedback on it."

Yep. Agreed.

Kristina

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